A company has been accepting payment from multitudes of people to be cryogenically preserved in 'cans'. But it turns out that it's all a scam and they're dead. The cans are being shot out into space where, rather than getting to a new planet, they're exploding and oozing out nasty goo.

This is definitely not the main part of the novel; it might just be a scene. The book was humorous, making fun of corrupt bureaucracy - maybe Douglas Adams; but I can't seem to locate it.

any ideas?

Trying to think of more details... the perspective of the scene is from, or involves, an unmotivated, low-level employee at this facility. There are definitely stinky, nasty piles of these rotting "cans." Also, there's definitely an overpopulation problem going on.

Probably from the 1980s.

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    Hello and welcome to SFF! Can you take a look at this guide and edit in any more details you may remember? Also don't forget to take the tour!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 2, 2018 at 14:29
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    dilbert.com/strip/2018-04-25 May 2, 2018 at 14:29
  • LOL, that Dilbert strip is definitely along the same lines!
    – Althea Ann
    May 2, 2018 at 14:52
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    "But it turns out that it's all a scam and they're dead. The cans are being shot out into space" - ironically, it's probably much cheaper to actually make cryonics work than shoot them into space. May 2, 2018 at 18:44
  • Maury - true enough! The tone of this writing was definitely more humorous than realistic. :-D
    – Althea Ann
    May 3, 2018 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


Could it be The Marching Morons by Cyril M. Kornbluth? This doesn't include cryogenics, but instead it has the smart elite duping the stupid masses into boarding rockets "to Venus" (but instead they explode in space, killing everyone).

  • No, sorry! My clearest memory of the scene is of the damaged "cans" containing "preserved" bodies oozing out gross pink goo...
    – Althea Ann
    May 3, 2018 at 14:53

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